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Thread: Curious about Other Stage 1 Colon Cancer Folks

  1. #1
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    Curious about Other Stage 1 Colon Cancer Folks

    First, I want to tell all who read this section of the forums how incredible I find all of the moderators, fellow cancer-endurers and caregivers - I sure wish I had found this source once I had received my own diagnosis - it would have given me much comfort in facing my own surgery. I have read numerous stories here in the last two weeks and cried and rejoiced with many of the peeps who shared them.

    That brings me to the next point - perhaps, I'm not looking carefully enough, but I don't see much (regardless of cancer type) here related to folks who have received treatment for Stage 1 (any type) cancer. I'm guessing they have been treated and have "moved on" with their activities and see no need to post. Is that about the size of it?

    I put off having a colonoscopy for far too many years because the whole idea of it just made my skin crawl; I finally had my first one in April and a suspicious polyp was found. The biopsy came back positive for cancer. My hubby and I live in a rural area outside of a large city in south Texas, and our small (barely incorporated) city is quite proud of its "new" hospital, which is where I had my procedure. I suppose because we're so small, everything was fast-tracked (no backlog of patients) - the biopsy results came back the next day, then an appointment with a surgeon was made for the day after that - the surgery was done 3 weeks after the colonoscopy. The path report from the Right Hemicolectomy arrived on the thursday after my Monday surgery. The results stated that there were no adenocarcinoma cells remaining at the site of the tattoo ink where the polyp had been previously removed, all 24 lymph nodes were clear and no mets detected on any other organs. I was weak with relief.

    So, question - was the surgery warranted for the cancerous polyp? I am mostly thinking that this surgery should give me peace of mind and that it was warranted, but a small part of me questions it. This is a long-winded post in search of an answer that I was hoping to find from other Stage 1 colon cancer folks. I go for my post-surgical appointment tomorrow and I will certainly ask my surgeon, but was curious from y'all what your thoughts/experiences are/have been.

    Many thanks for a wonderful place to visit during not-so-wonderful times.

    Debi

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Top User Baz10's Avatar
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    DebSeg,
    Thanks for your post and welcome.
    Regarding question 1
    Most with stage I have the polyp (s) removed and move on quickly as that’s it, done and dusted so to speak.

    Question 2
    Whether Surgery was warranted or not.
    There is no way we can answer this as the only people that know the exact medical status are your doctors.

    I would dare suggest a resection for a single polyp with zero other involvement does seem radical yet suggests was necessary otherwise why would Surgery be carried out rather than just blue dye and snare off during the colonoscopy.

    What I would suggest is don’t dwell on the past as that can’t be changed, but concentrate on living your life which with stage I should be long and hassle free.
    Good luck
    Barry
    Diagnosed stage 3 March 011
    Radical resection April 011
    Restaged 2b April 011.
    12/09 Colonoscopy clear but picked up hospital infection.
    Aorta & femoral arteries occluded.
    Clot buster drugs put me in ICU with internal bleeding. 9 blood units later they got it under control.
    Aortobifemoral surgery 5th May. yughh.
    PET scan indicates clear
    DEXA bone scan clear
    13/5 CT showed "unknown" but no concern from docs.
    Inguinal lymph nodes and severe groin pain.
    Ultrasound and MRI show no nasties. Pheww
    Groin pain and enlarged lymph nodes still there.
    October -still the same pains but under semi control.
    Additional chest CT scan ordered for 11th November prior to surgery.
    Sinus surgery done and dusted.
    July 2014 PSA at 5.10. 2months of antibiotics in case of UTI, jan 2015 PSA at 7.20, 23/08 now 8.2, current 8.1
    Prostate Cancer confirmed Gleason 3+Marginal 4.
    Active surveillance continues.
    PET CT Aug 2017 indicated lung nodule changes
    CT Guided biopsy 7/09
    November 1 Vats Wedge section pathology Glomulated previous infection
    no Cancer.

    Not all's rosy in the garden, but see following.
    Stop grumbling Baz, your still alive and kicking so far.
    Age and illness doesn't define who we are, but more what we are able to do.
    Motto
    Do what I love doing, when I can until I can't.
    and dodging bullets in the meanwhile, too many bullets at moment.

  3. #3
    Moderator Top User Fourlegsgood's Avatar
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    Debi

    Whilst carrying out my surgery my consultant said that he didn’t like the look of the colon next to my tumour so he took out 50% of the colon as well as most of the rectum where the tumour was located. The tests on the removed colon came back negative so it’s removal was certainly not necessary. I have not questioned my consultants decision for even one second since the operation.

    He made a decision whilst he was in there and I am just thankful for all he did for me.

    You have had very good treatment and any cancer that you had is now gone. I suggest that any ‘what if’ thoughts or questions for your consultant are pointless and do not need to be asked unless you think that it will stop you having that nagging doubt. With hind sight I didn’t need all that colon removed. So even if the consultant says to you that having done the operation perhaps it wasn’t needed, you still have to be able to thank him for all he did and then not think about it ever again. Can you do that?

    It’s difficult but I would say be thankful that you know you don’t have any cancer rather than wondering if the operation was necessary.

    Nick
    Age 1/2 way to 120 plus 1. Symptom of blood in stools May 2011. Colonoscopy June 2011 confirmed rectal cancer. CT scan June 2011 showed no spread to other organs. Anterior resection July 2011 plus 50% bowel removed due to thickening observed during operation. Biopsy confirmed stage 2 in rectum only. Completed 8 cycles of precautionary capecitabine (4600mg Xeloda). Returned to horse riding 6 weeks post op, jumping 2weeks later and first competition 2 weeks after that. July 2012 - CT scan clear. June 2014 - CT scan clear. December 2014 - Colonoscopy clear. July 2017 - 6 year CT scan clear.

  4. #4
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    DebSeg,

    I have not been on Cancer Forums for quite some time but I am in total agreement with you when you say that it is an awesome site with wonderful moderators. I am replying because like you I was in the same situation back in 2013. I had a right hemi-colectomy for a single polyp with similar features. I did a ton of research before my surgery because I wanted to wait a couple of months and have the surgery performed by a colorectal surgeon. He is quite popular but came with years of expertise. During my research I found that it is better to resect then possibly take the chance of removing it through a colonoscopy. Also my polyp was in a deep fold and hard to get to with a snare. They want to make sure you have clean margins. I also had 17 lymph nodes removed but they did not run any tests to indicate if there where any mets detected to other organs. After my procedure my surgeon told me don't worry it is gone. Go out and live your life. They say that women are more prone to right-sided growths and because the colon is larger on that side they tend to grow bigger. I was 49 when I had my surgery and I just turned 54. To tell you that you will never think about it is a lie but like Baz and Nick mentioned we are extremely luckier then some people. Next month I go in for my three year scope and I would lie if I told you I am not nervous. All we can do is take one day at a time and keep this on a back burner until we are forced to move it to the front of the stove which hopefully will not occur.


    I hope this brings you some ease of mind.

    Laurie
    Last edited by LO2369; 06-09-2018 at 03:52 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by LO2369 View Post
    DebSeg,

    I have not been on Cancer Forums for quite some time but I am in total agreement with you when you say that it is an awesome site with wonderful moderators. I am replying because like you I was in the same situation back in 2013. I had a right hemi-colectomy for a single polyp with similar features. I did a ton of research before my surgery because I wanted to wait a couple of months and have the surgery performed by a colorectal surgeon. He is quite popular but came with years of expertise. During my research I found that it is better to resect then possibly take the chance of removing it through a colonoscopy. Also my polyp was in a deep fold and hard to get to with a snare. They want to make sure you have clean margins. I also had 17 lymph nodes removed but they did not run any tests to indicate if there where any mets detected to other organs. After my procedure my surgeon told me don't worry it is gone. Go out and live your life. They say that women are more prone to right-sided growths and because the colon is larger on that side they tend to grow bigger. I was 49 when I had my surgery and I just turned 54. To tell you that you will never think about it is a lie but like Baz and Nick mentioned we are extremely luckier then some people. Next month I go in for my three year scope and I would lie if I told you I am not nervous. All we can do is take one day at a time and keep this on a back burner until we are forced to move it to the front of the stove which hopefully will not occur.


    I hope this brings you some ease of mind.

    Laurie
    Laurie - thank you so very much for your reply! It helps a lot to hear from another who had/has a similar case. I've been feeling a little ashamed for posting this thread when so many others have situations much more serious, but when one is diagnosed with cancer for the first time, it's danged scary no matter what the stage is, you know? I met with my surgeon Tuesday for my first post-op check-up, and he was very pleased; he did tell me that he was referring me to an oncologist for "lab rat" monitoring - my first appointment with her is in July. He also better explained the need for the resection - similar to what you stated above. This coming Monday it will have been three weeks since surgery and I have been cleared to drive, but I still tire pretty quickly.

    Again - thank you so much!

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Top User po18guy's Avatar
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    There is a saying: Localized colon cancer is a nuisance. Metastasized colon cancer is deadly.

    Despite your hospital being in a one-horse town (similar to where I reside), it sounds to me like you received state-of-the-art care. You will be hyper-vigilant for a time, perhaps even for the rest of your life. This is normal, but don't live life under a cloud that is not there!

    Just live life and love life. You have been granted a repreive, a new lease on life, with a completely new perspective on how precious it is.

    Live and love.
    05/08-07/08 Tumor appears behind left ear. Followed by serial medical incompetence on the parts of PCP, veteran oncologist and pathologist (misdiagnosis via non-diagnosis). Providential guidance to proper care at an NCI designated comprehensive cancer center.
    07/08 Age 56 DX 1) Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma-Not Otherwise Specified. Stage IV-B, >50 ("innumerable") tumors, bone marrow involvement.
    08/08-12/08 Four cycles CHOEP14 + four cycles GND (Cyclofosfamide, Doxorubicin, Vincristine, Etoposide, Prednisone & Gemcitabine, Navelbine, Doxil)
    02/09 2) Relapse.
    03/09-06/13 Clinical trial of Romidepsin > long-term study. NED for 64 twenty-eight day cycles, dose tapered.
    07/13 3) Relapse, 4) Suspected Mutation.
    08/13-02/14 Romidepsin increased, stopped for lack of response. Watch & Wait.
    09/14 Relapse/Progression. Visible cervical nodes appear within 4 days of being checked clear.
    10/06/14 One cycle Belinostat. Discontinued to enter second clinical trial.
    10/25/14 Clinical trial of Alisertib/Failed - Progression.
    01/12/15 Belinostat resumed/Failed - Progression. 02/23/15
    02/24/15 Pralatrexate/Failed - Progression. 04/17/15
    04/15 Genomic profiling reveals mutation into PTCL-NOS + AngioImmunoblastic T-Cell Lymphoma. Stage IV-B a second time. Two dozen tumors + small intestine (Ileum) involvement.
    04/22/15 TEC (Bendamustine, Etoposide, Carboplatin). Full response in two cycles. PET/CT both clear. Third cycle followed.
    06/15-07/15 Transplant preparation (X-rays, spinal taps, BMB, blood test, MUGA scan, lung function, CMV screening, C-Diff testing etc. etc. etc.) Intrathecal Methotrexate during spinal tap.
    BMB reveals 5) 26% blast cells of 20q Deletion Myelodysplastic Syndrome MDS), a bone marrow cancer and precursor to Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
    07/11-12/15 Cyclofosfamide + Fludarabine conditioning regimen.
    07/16/15 Total Body Irradiation.
    07/17/15 Moderate intensity Haploidentical Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplant receiving my son's peripheral blood stem cells.
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    05/2017 Chronic anemia (low hematocrit). Chronic kidney disease. Cataracts from radiation and steroids.
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    08/17 Bone marrow biopsy reveals the presence of 2% cells with 20q Deletion Myelodysplastic Syndrome, considered to be Minimum Residual Disease.
    12/17 Bone marrow biopsy reveals no abnormalities in the marrow - MDS eradicated. The steroid taper continues.
    01/18 Consented for Kadmon clinical trial.
    03/18 Began 400mg daily of KD025, a rho-Associated Coiled-coil Kinase 2 Inhibitor (ROCK2).
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    11/18 Began therapy with Ruxolitinib (Jakafi), a JAK 1&2 inhibitor class drug. Started at half-dose due to concerns with drug interactions.

    To date: 1 cancer, relapse, second relapse/mutation into 2 cancers, then 3 cancers simultaneously, 20 chemotherapy/GVHD drugs in 11 regimens (4 of them at least twice), 5 salvage regimens, 4 clinical trials, 5 post-transplant immuno-suppressant/modulatory drugs, the equivalent of 1,000 years of background radiation from 40+ CT series scans and about 24 PET scans.
    Both lymphoid and myeloid malignancies lend a certain symmetry to the hematological journey.

    Believing in the redemptive value of suffering makes all the difference.

  7. #7
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    You are so correct, PO18 - many thanks for your reply!

  8. #8
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    Howdy y'all! It's been a couple of months since I posted and since then I have seen my oncologist (first time) in July and had the required blood labs. My CEA came down on the date of surgery from 7.9 to 4.4 in July, and I had a follow-up with my gastrointerologist last Monday. The docs all seem pleased with my progress to date, but I have started to see rectal bleeding again (my resection was done May of this year), I informed the GI of this, but he did not seem concerned. Since my surgery, I have had problems with stool passages being very loose and having to "go" around 7-8 times a day. I have added some fiber to my diet recently - would this cause rectal bleeding? As I have read from so many of the threads here, we all seem to become hyper-vigilant after a cancer diagnosis, and since my GI didn't seem concerned, I am wondering if any of you experienced bleeding like this so soon after surgery?

    Many thanks in advance for any responses.

  9. #9
    Moderator Top User Fourlegsgood's Avatar
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    It always takes the colon time to settle down after surgery and loose stools and going lots of times a day is not unusual. Fibre would tend to get thing moving more quickly through the colon and might make them looser. You could experiment with diet. For me even quite a few years after I only have half my colon so I use loperamide to slow things down and keep the stools firmer.

    Your blood could be anything that other non cancer people get. For instance if I have a period of loose stools I can end up wiping more than usual and that can be enough to make everything a bit raw and bleed a bit onto the paper. Best to monitor it and if it persists then go and see your doctor
    Age 1/2 way to 120 plus 1. Symptom of blood in stools May 2011. Colonoscopy June 2011 confirmed rectal cancer. CT scan June 2011 showed no spread to other organs. Anterior resection July 2011 plus 50% bowel removed due to thickening observed during operation. Biopsy confirmed stage 2 in rectum only. Completed 8 cycles of precautionary capecitabine (4600mg Xeloda). Returned to horse riding 6 weeks post op, jumping 2weeks later and first competition 2 weeks after that. July 2012 - CT scan clear. June 2014 - CT scan clear. December 2014 - Colonoscopy clear. July 2017 - 6 year CT scan clear.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Top User Baz10's Avatar
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    Agree totally with the responses you have had so far.
    It is initially normal to be on “alert” for symptoms after a resection and any changes in bowel habits tend to raise concerns.

    If I may suggest
    You are being diligently monitored and given normally any CRC return is counted in years certainly not months. I would consider that blood to be anything other than a return.
    It took many months for my bowel to return to semi normal state the first time, less so following the second resection, why I have no clue as to the bowel returning to normal the second time so quickly.

    As Nick said diet, also exercise play a vastly important role in getting back to normal, where he takes Loperimide, Fortunately I don’t need it as I am careful what I eat.
    Yes I’ve had bleeding, but that’s down to fissures and haemorrhoids, afraid it goes with the territory and worries me not in the least as I’ve found it passes and with occasional use of Rectogesic or Anusol for discomfort and repair I’m back to normal quickly.

    I would suggest, modify your diet and try and reduce the gas and stool bulk as strangely the colon is not designed to be “stretched”, the only part of the bowel that is designed as such to be stretch is the bowel and rectum. Fact.
    So any gas or hard stools forces the colon to expand and can result in fissures and or hemorrhoids forming = blood.
    Barry
    Diagnosed stage 3 March 011
    Radical resection April 011
    Restaged 2b April 011.
    12/09 Colonoscopy clear but picked up hospital infection.
    Aorta & femoral arteries occluded.
    Clot buster drugs put me in ICU with internal bleeding. 9 blood units later they got it under control.
    Aortobifemoral surgery 5th May. yughh.
    PET scan indicates clear
    DEXA bone scan clear
    13/5 CT showed "unknown" but no concern from docs.
    Inguinal lymph nodes and severe groin pain.
    Ultrasound and MRI show no nasties. Pheww
    Groin pain and enlarged lymph nodes still there.
    October -still the same pains but under semi control.
    Additional chest CT scan ordered for 11th November prior to surgery.
    Sinus surgery done and dusted.
    July 2014 PSA at 5.10. 2months of antibiotics in case of UTI, jan 2015 PSA at 7.20, 23/08 now 8.2, current 8.1
    Prostate Cancer confirmed Gleason 3+Marginal 4.
    Active surveillance continues.
    PET CT Aug 2017 indicated lung nodule changes
    CT Guided biopsy 7/09
    November 1 Vats Wedge section pathology Glomulated previous infection
    no Cancer.

    Not all's rosy in the garden, but see following.
    Stop grumbling Baz, your still alive and kicking so far.
    Age and illness doesn't define who we are, but more what we are able to do.
    Motto
    Do what I love doing, when I can until I can't.
    and dodging bullets in the meanwhile, too many bullets at moment.

 

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